Internships Out of Reach? Freelancing Might Be Your Friend


Brian Sandler, Staff Writer

As a soon-to-be graduate of William Paterson University, I fully understand the plight of the anxiety-ridden junior who just can’t seem to land that golden ticket internship to the promised land of monotonous 9-to-5 deskwork.

While I thankfully managed the frustrating task of snagging one last summer at a thriving business publication firm, not everyone will have such luck. Should you chalk this setback up to your total and abject inability to be successful in life and head off to trade school, or is there perhaps an alternative, hidden third route with benefits just as good as the conventional path? The very fortunate answer to this question is a resounding yes!

Indeed, for those who just can’t seem to find that summer internship, freelance work is a viable, equally valid choice for something to boost a resume with. Freelancing might have some benefits you can’t find in the typical setting of an internship. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like rigid, unyielding schedules and the restraint required to work under someone else, freelancing might even be preferable to interning.

“Freelancing offers a lot of freedom and flexibility that a regular desk job can’t,” said Abdullahi Muhammed in a 2016 article written for

“Since you mostly get to choose the type of work you do, who you collaborate with, what time of the day you work and for how long at a time, the location you work from and the volume of work you take on, you’re able to make choices that suit your individual strengths and needs.”

If you’re the type who doesn’t like having to juggle a dreaded million projects at once, Muhammed emphasized that freelancers get to bypass this issue altogether.

“One of the best parts of being a freelancer is that you get to say when enough is enough,” he said.

“If you have too many clients and can’t handle the stress, you can drop one. And as it turns out, controlling your workload is better for your health. Research from Kansas State University found that employees who work more than 50 hours per week suffer from decreased mental and physical health. Another study by European researchers found that working 10 hours or more every day can increase your risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, by 60 percent.”

If you’re the type who’s constantly coming down with colds, the flu and brachiopnuemococalitis pneumonia, then freelancing, according to Muhammed, might just be the best medicine.

“Most freelancers work from home,” he said. “This working situation can actually keep you from getting sick because you deal with all your colleagues and clients remotely. A lot of offices are moving away from the cubicle layout and creating open plans to increase communication and encourage collaboration.”

But will the experience spend writing at home about Keynesian economics, while catching up with the latest season of Stranger Things, bode well with future employers? According to Riia O’ Donnell of, employers are becoming freelancers, if anything.

“A recent study shows that 53 million Americans – a whopping 34 percent of the workforce – are now freelancing, be it as their main or supplemental income,” she said.

“This population contributes $715 billion each year to the economy through their freelance work.”

So if lady luck hasn’t put in a good word for you, don’t fret. Not only can you get the experience you desperately need for that ever-so-important career you’re building but said experience might be a hint as to what your future career could be. So, get out your laptop, pull up Buzzfeed or any other site, and freelance away.